Thursday, August 20, 2009

Fire Department and higher scores

It is official. Emily is now an official fire cadet for our local fire department. We live in a rural (very rural area). We have one fire department that covers both town (under 3,000 in population) and this part of the ruual county area. All members, except for the chief are volunteers. Our department has a cadet program for youth 8-18. Emily is one of about 3 or 4 cadets. To be a cadet the kids have to have a B grade average or higher and attend the training sessions, which are generally held weekly. Last night she was issued her bunker gear. She will respond to fire calls with JD (who is a full fledged fire fighter/EMT). She will get her own pager also, but they didn't have one available last night.

I, am now a member of the rehab team. The rehab team has a bus that goes to fires. The bus is loaded with snacks and water for the fire fighters, some medical equipment and operates as a rest station. We also monitor the fire fighters vital signs during an event and help back up the local ambulance district. In a few months we will have also completed the first responder training which is a step down from an EMT.

A few posts ago, I shared a letter that discussed test score results with homeschool vs traditional/private/public school students. A question was asked why homeschoolers general score higher.

There are several answers to this question.

First, is the student to teacher ratio. I don't have 26-30 students in my class room. I normally have 3, sometimes a few more if homeschooling friends are visiting. Less students means more time to devote to them.

Secondly (tying in with the first reason) is since we are smaller, we don't move on to the next concept until we understand the first one. In a traditional setting, the teacher moves on, despite the fact one or more of the students don't grasp the concept. She can not afford to slow down as it will put the rest of the class behind. In a homeschool setting, you keep doing it until you get it right.

Third, you can adjust your lesson for the students learning style. Some students are visual learners. Others are hands on. You can have one read about it while another watches a video about it.

Forth-time is saved that can be spent doing further learning. We don't waste time waiting in line to go from class to class or to lunch, taking lunch counts, attendance, bathroom breaks and time to pack and unpack backpacks. As a subteacher, I can tell you that almost 1/4 to 1/3 of a traditional day is spent doing these things. We also have the time then to do other activities, such as Emily participating in the fire cadet program, or the girls observing/intering in my cousins vetinary clinic.

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